Idaho lawsuit filed over proposed Air Force training program
NAMPA, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Air Force faces a lawsuit that seeks to halt training exercises over nine cities in southern Idaho, according to court documents.
The complaint was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court of Idaho by Boise residents and an environmental organization called Great Old Broads for Wilderness, the Idaho Press reported Wednesday.
The lawsuit lists potential hazards and says the Air Force did not do enough to inform the public or municipalities about its plans.
A November assessment found the training would have no significant environmental impact, military officials said.
The urban air and ground training project proposed to the public in 2018 could include up to 160 training events per year, Air Force officials said.
The training would involve aircraft flying over Idaho towns and cities and communicating with service members dressed as civilians on the ground to identify targets with low-power lasers, military officials have said. They stressed the need for training in city settings to simulate “urban environments encountered in combat.”
The Air Force also began “conducting project training operations over the urban centers” before the review process was complete, indicating a decision had already been made, plaintiffs’ attorneys said.
The Air Force had not filed a response to the lawsuit by Wednesday and a call seeking comment was not immediately returned, the newspaper reported.
Information from: Idaho Press, http://www.idahopress.com